It is cross platform and works across browsers, mobile browsers, operating systems etc.
You can build mobile applications with it
Tons of useful libraries from PDF renderers to physics engines and charting libraries
Many good frameworks for writing good clean code and MV* type applications
Those are just some of the many reasons why we should learn to code in it. I definitely get the feeling that in a few years time it’ll replace the current popular web programming and scripting languages when it comes to displaying and manipulating data (on the front end).
If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’d have noticed that I arrived in the USA last week Friday and have spent the past few days in northern Idaho visiting a good old friend of mine. I had a really good time in Idaho and would loved to have stayed longer, but the main reason I am visiting the States is to attend the 2013 CF.Objective() conference. I’m currently writing this blog post from the Denver International airport, waiting to board a flight to Minneapolis.
The conference starts tonight at the Radisson Blu hotel in Minneapolis and if you have not heard about it before, it’s the number 1 ColdFusion conference worldwide. This year there is a really strong speaking line up and some interesting talks. Check out the official conference website for the schedule and more info.
If you’re attending the conference, hope to see you there!
News of the apparent misspending by the Free State government here in South Africa spread like a wild fire out of control today – and rightly so! It was picked up by local media and even made it’s way on to the HackerNews front page.
From what’s been written, the whole deal reeks of corruption. From the amount spent on the website, to the deal being signed in 2011 which coincidentally seems to be when Cherry Online Design was formed (at least, that’s when the Facebook page as created). For those of us who live in SA and pay taxes, unfortunately corruption is pretty much an every day occurrence.
The Free State government tried to justify the cost by saying that the deal was R40 million and not R140 million. That’s not the point! The point is, they’ve wasted millions of tax payers hard earned money on something that should have cost a fraction of the price, even at R40 million. The point is, they should be ashamed that people are starving in their province and they’re unnecessarily wasting money. The point is they’re contributing to the overall growing negative image of South Africa globally.
The big issue here in my books is not that WordPress was used or even for that matter, that a premium theme was used! Some of the biggest websites on the internet are built on WordPress and I’m probably its biggest fan. We should actually be commending the Free State government for embracing open source technology.
The big issue is that as South Africans, we’ve pretty much have had to accept corruption because there is no consequence to corrupt behavior. Hey, just ask our President.
Yesterday I blogged about my 2012 year in review. There were lots of ups and downs last year and I learnt some valuable lessons at the end of the day. It has inspired me to do better this year and pursue my goals harder than ever before.
As far as new year resolutions/goals go, you’re either one of those that loves them or hates them. I’ve been on both sides of the fence. There’s been years where I have thought to myself, “Why bother?”. But nowadays, I really see the value of setting new year goals. I see them as my medium to long term goals that just coincidentally get set at the beginning of each year. The only difference between new years resolutions and monthly/weekly goals is the time frame.
Setting goals is the easy part though, executing and following up is the difficult part. I’m notoriously bad at the following up part. This year, I’m making a conscience effort to review the new year goals monthly and make sure that I am on track. It also gives me the opportunity to plan my monthly and weekly goals better knowing exactly what the bigger picture is!
So, without further ado, here are…
My goals for 2013
Write 1000 words a day
I’ve been really inspired to start writing lately. I’ve seen how writing can literally change a persons life in so many ways (especially in the tech/development world). Writing is an art form that takes time to perfect and I’m quite the amateur, but the only way to become a better writer is to write more.
The challenge I have set myself is to write a minimum of 1000 words a day. It’s hard! A lot harder than you’d think. I wrote my first 1000 word blog post yesterday and it took me a good hour or two. But the more words you write, the easier it gets and the more it starts to flow.
I’m going to split my 1000 words a day between blog posts, articles, and other cool things I have planned, see below.
Ahhh, the good ol’ “blog more often” goal. How many times have you seen this one show up on new years resolution lists? Seriously though, blogging has so many benefits personally and professionally.
Last year I read the book (actually listened to it) called Platform by Michael Hyatt and a lot of what I had been thinking about blogging and building my own platform were reinforced by the book. It’s a really great read and has inspired me to really get my blog and platform together. For me, blogging is the key ingredient to building your platform and something I am going to focus intensely on.
Write 6 articles for some of the large web publications
One every two months. It doesn’t sound like much but it’s a lot of hard work. I’ve got lots of knowledge that I have picked up over the years in startups and development environments that I would like to share. This year I’ll be using some of my 1000 words a day to write really good articles for some of the big web development websites and publications. It’s also a big part of building my platform.
Start new open source projects
This year I’d like to release at the very least one new open source project. It will most likely come in the form of another WordPress plugin, but I need to start releasing some of the code I write. As a developer I write a lot of code, but 99% of it never gets released as open source. This needs to change, I need to write and release more open code.
Support and maintain open source projects better
Following on from the previous goal, I need to support my open source code better. This is much harder than writing and releasing but arguably way more important.
I’ve slacked quite a lot with the current code that I have released. Take for instance my WordPress Most Popular plugin. I’ve got 5 pull requests waiting for me! I’ve got to get better at managing the code that I have released.
Also, I want to contribute to more open source projects. Just today I fixed a bug in some software that we use at work and it felt really good. I’d love to contribute to the WordPress project this year as it has done so much for me throughout my development life.
Start and finish writing a book
Probably my most ambitious goal for this year is to write a book. I’ve always wanted to write one, but keep putting it off. I’ve even had a few paid offers to write books but ended up turning them down due to fear. This year I am biting the bullet and I am going to just start writing.
I have no idea what I am going to write a book on yet, but it will definitely be about something related to development and I’ll most likely self publish it.
Develop a product
I want to release a product this year. I’m going to build something, package it as a product and sell it on my website. Again, I’m not too sure exactly what I am going to build yet, but I have a couple ideas.
Pay off one of our cars
In 2011 I read a book called “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey. It changed my outlook on money and finances. I decided that I am going to live my life debt free as soon as possible and only pay cash for things (excepting a house).
In 2012 myself and my wife made good strides to becoming debt free. We’ve paid off and cancelled our credit cards, clothing accounts and other small debts that we had. All the debt that we have left is two car loans. By the end of 2013, we’re hoping to have just one car loan left!
Completely finish the 2nd year of my computer science degree
As mentioned in my review post, I did terribly last year with my degree. This year I am setting a goal to simply and swiftly finish all the modules in the second year of my degree. I’m more than capable of doing this, it is just going to take some hard graft and determination!
Start trail running
I’ve wanted to start trail running for a long time now. There are tons of really cool runs each weekend around Pretoria and Johannesburg that I am going to get involved in this year. I’m quite unfit at the moment so it is going to take a good effort to get to a point where I can compete in the longer trails. I’m going to start off on the short 5km/7km trails.
Those are the big goals that I have for 2013. I’m really excited about making them happen. The next review for me is on the 1st of February 2013. I’ll write a post then to recap how things went in the month of January. Let’s go!
It’s that time of the year again, where I reflect on the year that has passed and plan for the one to follow. It’s an important part of the year for me and really gets me excited for the year to come and learn from what went right and wrong in the previous year.
I’ve been inspired this year by numerous bloggers I follow and respect to blog my year in review for 2012 and going forward, each year to come.
Overall, 2012 was a very good year for me. I grew personally, learnt some tough business lessons and ended the year off with a new addition to my growing family.
Let me start off by…
What went wrong in 2012
If I look back on some of the resolutions that I set in the beginning of 2012, it’s quite disappointing for me to see that I didn’t really accomplish any of them. The year started off strongly for me, and there is good lessons in looking at what went wrong.
I planned on learning a mobile development language but as the year went on, I actually totally forgot about it. Things were busy in 2012 and I should have actually continuously reviewed my resolutions monthly as a refresher. Lesson learnt!
I wanted to focus on doing manageable amounts of modules towards my Computer Science degree. I ended up completing 0 modules. Studying is an area that I really need to practice intense focus on in 2013 so that I can complete my degree and get it behind me. I’ve procrastinated for far too long now on this and need to put in a massive effort this year to get it done.
Near the end of 2011, I started a development business with a partner. We had a good vision and some grand plans. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out as planned for us and early on in the year, we decided to go on our own separate paths. It was a bit of a shock in the beginning as it wasn’t something I expected to happen. I had to quickly get over it though and move on the the next thing.
For about 3 months of 2012, I ate really healthily and exercised religiously. However, I’ve slacked since then and 3 months of the year is definitely not good enough. In general, my health as not been to bad though, but there was things I wanted to do, like take up an adventurous sporting activity which I never did.
Again, I started off the year strongly in this area, by subscribing to Audible and going through at least 1 self improvement book a week. I learnt a lot in the process and it’s definitely something I need to do more of in 2013. Towards the middle and end of the year I slacked, and stopped reading and listening to books.
So in general, I lacked the intense focus I was looking for when I set out at the start of 2012. I did start well, but really struggled with proper execution towards the middle and end of the year. There were times of the year where I really just felt like a cog in a wheel that kept rolling and stopped for no one. I didn’t take control of the situation and just rode it out. It’s an area of my life that I’ve always struggled a bit with. I need to execute well and follow through in 2013.
What went right in 2012
Whew, quite a lot seemed to go wrong, but there were many highlights in 2012. I started it off newly married to my beautiful wife with lots of exciting plans.
As mentioned above, I started off as a business partner, that didn’t work out and I moved into a freelance/consulting role. I ended up spending most of my time in meetings and not developing and thus decided it was the right time in my life to look for a full time position.
After a short time looking for a post that suits me, I accepted a full time position at Tutuka in Johannesburg. It’s a bit of a drive (40-60mins) to get to work each morning but it’s been really awesome working there. We’re working on some really exciting projects and the development team has really good synergy.
I joined Tutuka coming from a background in PHP and MySQL development. Tutuka literally has no PHP code so there was a learning curve for me which I was actually quite excited about. Within the first week of joining, I picked up intermediate knowledge of Coldfusion and since then have worked with lots of new technologies as well as been able to share with them some of my expertise. It’s been a good journey so far.
My wife and I decided a little while ago that we want to travel overseas at least once a year and over the past few years we have been lucky enough to do so. 2012 was no different and we went up to Ireland to visit my family and coincided the visit with the birth of my niece. My sister gave birth to a beautiful little girl in June.
1 year marriage
On the 10th of December 2012, I celebrated my 1 year anniversary with my wife. It’s been a great first year of marriage with a lot of challenges but far more ups than downs! I’m really looking forward to the next year of marriage.
On the 7th of November 2012, we welcome the most precious gift my wife and I could have ever asked for in to the world. Our little daughter, Lilah Paige Geri was born. Wow, what an experience! Its been awesome and I love my little girl more than I could ever have imagined!
So there is my year in review. Like I’ve mentioned before, there have been ups and downs and a lot to learn from for 2013. I am really looking forward to it and going to make sure that it is my best year yet!
I tend to change blog themes more than the women in my life change their minds And today is no exception! This time however, I’ve decided to ditch a custom built design (well, not entirely) and go with a premium theme.
I have this thing, where I build a design, love it for a week and then gradually start hating it until a point of no return. It’s weird I know, but I think it comes down to the fact that I am not a designer and don’t want to be a designer. I’m a developer. Yes, I can throw together a design and make it look semi-decent, but it’s not my focus and not what I enjoy. I enjoy taking designs and making them functional. That’s where my expertise lies.
Again, it comes down to focus (which I’ve blogged about earlier this year on my life mastery blog). I’m keen to stay focused on doing things I am excellent at.
So, with that said, this new theme is a child theme that I built on the Standard theme. I’m hoping by using a premium theme that I paid for, I wont grow to dislike it as much as I do on my own designs. Standard is by far one of the nicest premium themes available and what I like most about it is the simplicity! It’s not a theme framework with unneeded functionality and it suits my needs perfectly. I’ve added a few elements of my own to the theme, including my logo, new header and background.
There is a long way to go for the theme before I am fully happy with it (hey, when is a project ever complete right?), I’ve got some cool ideas for addons, plugins and new sections, but for now I am extremely happy with how it turned out. My focus now is to start pumping out useful content.
The posts on this blog from now on will be solely focused on development (mostly WordPress, PHP, MySQL etc). All other posts will go on my life mastery blog. I’m going to start writing a lot more longer tutorial type blog posts along with shorter “code snippet” type posts. The focus though will be development.
Hope you like the new theme, let me know your thoughts (if you have any) in the comments
Hi and welcome to my new blog that is dedicated towards achieving complete life mastery.
I’ve created this blog because my main blog at mattgeri.com from now onwards will be dedicated towards development (what I do for a daily living) and I needed a place where I can blog about more personal issues and things on my mind without blurring any lines.
Interesting! So what am I going to be posting about here then?
I’m glad you asked.
Firstly, this blog is mostly about me and my journey to become the best person I can be in the 5 key areas of my life (Mental, Spiritual, Physical, Financial/Career and Social/Relationships).
Over the past few months I have become more and more interested in key focus in each area of my life in order to achieve great things. I’ve been largely inspired by a number of books I have been reading to become a better person overall. A recent example would be that I’ve started eating mostly Paleo food to better my health (more on this later).
I plan to write about all sorts of things here from health diets and recipes I am trying out, money issues, to my quest to lower my golfing handicap and everything in between.
I believe life mastery is a life long journey that doesn’t happen over night. It starts with taking small steps, day by day which leads to overall bettering of ourselves. This blog will serve as a record for me to track progress as I go long.
And why should you read this blog?
Well, I’m not forcing you But hopefully through my experiences you’ll be able to learn a thing or two and also, more selfishly, I’m hoping you can teach me a thing or two as well by commenting on my posts.
So, join me on my journey, if you will
P.S. I’ll be moving all my non development related blog posts here in the coming few days.
My new work laptop has a SSD Hard drive in it and all I can say is wow! It is so insanely fast. Booting up the machine takes seconds and so does starting up applications. The speed gained from the SSD really makes a noticeable difference.
I enabled BitLocker today to encrypt my SSD drive and also a HDD drive that is in the machine and the SSD drive literally took minutes to encrypt whereas the HDD drive took over 2 hours.
There are many advantages to using a SSD such as speed, electronically accesses data (no moving parts) etc, but there are also some things to be aware of.
One of the issues of running a solid state drive is that if the drive fails, you’re most likely going to lose your data whereas with a HDD, you’ll likely be able to perform some data recovery.
Another problem with SSD’s at the moment is that they are extremely expensive, but I can see in a few more years once the price comes down, many PC manufacturers adopting them as a standard.
The upsides far outweigh the downsides for me. I now just need to save up to get a SSD in to my Mac!
Today I received my new Dell M6600 work laptop from Tutuka. Wow, what a machine! It’s a Quad Core i7, with 16GB RAM, 240GB SSD with a second 700GB SATA hard drive running Windows 7 64bit edition. It has a 17.3 inch display with a 1920×1080 resolution. Those specs are enough to get any Geek excited!
Obviously, I will still be using my Macbook Pro as my home work station, but I am really excited to start working on this machine. It’s so fast!